Defense Attorney Lullaby

Previously, officers in Oregon were permitted to question motorists they had stopped for whatever reason about unrelated matters as long as the questions were posed during an “unavoidable lull”—i.e., at a point when the officer was unable to go forward with the next step in processing the original stop, for example, because they were waiting to find out if the individual had any warrants.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of Oregon ruled that for purposes of Article I,
section 9, of the Oregon Constitution, all investigative activities, including investigative
inquiries, conducted by law enforcement during a traffic stop, must be reasonably related to the purpose of that stop or have an independent constitutional justification.

Good-bye, lull.

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